“I don’t think you can come into the National League too ready. I think you might arrive not ready enough. »

Contrary to what one might be led to believe, this quote is not from Gandhi, but from Mavrik Bourque.

The Quebec striker sits atop the American League in scoring with 13 goals and 24 assists, or 37 points in 26 games (before Friday night’s games). While he is happy to reap the rewards of his efforts now, the goal, he reminds, “is not to be an AHLer (an American League player).” “It’s playing in the National League at some point, but I think I’m doing good things right now. »

The salary situation of the Dallas Stars prevents him from being recalled for the moment, even if he is having an impeccable season. Bourque must therefore continue to exercise his patience. The good news is that his confidence is “just increasing right now.”

The 21-year-old Plessisvillois gives us an example of Thomas Harley, a defender with whom he played last year at the Stars school club. “He spent the entire year in the American League. There, you see, he is one of the very good defenders in the National League.

“It’s not the organization’s fault they don’t have injuries and room on their payroll. I’m still young, I’m just going to trust the process. […] I continue to build my game here. »

Last year, Mavrik Bourque had a first season in the American League marked by ups and downs. He benefited from less ice time. He did a lot of “extra” after practice. But “at the end of the day, it’s part of the learning,” he notes. He was also among the prospects called up to play the role of “Black Ace” during the NHL playoffs, participating in the Stars’ warm-up twice during the Stanley Cup Final.

This year, his success must be attributed, according to him, to “the whole of [his] game” and the fact that he is “confident” within a younger team.

And then there is Logan Stankoven, his linemate since the start of the season. Stankoven is a second-round pick of the Stars in 2021 and is currently playing his first season with the Stars’ farm club. It is his name which follows that of Bourque in the list of the best scorers on the circuit. In other words, the duo is making sparks.

“I’m lucky to have a player I have a good affinity with like that. I think that’s what I missed a little last year. There, to have the chance to have a player who understands a little bit of the way I play and who I am able to understand the way he plays… I think that helps us both. »

The Quebecer compares his complicity with Stankoven to that he had with Xavier Bourgault with the Shawinigan Cataractes, in the QMJHL.

“At the end of the day, you just want to play for the Stars at some point. I think if we continue to help each other like this, that’s what will happen. »

Mavrik Bourque has “always trusted [his] development”. In September, he showed up to training camp knowing full well that the Stars already had 13 National League forwards on their roster. He gave everything, but he returned to the American League with the goal of getting a call-up, if the team’s salary situation eventually allows it.

“I’m confident it’s going to happen at some point, but I’m definitely starting to get excited,” he admits.

“In the past, I would think: Am I ready? There, I know that I am. I wouldn’t hesitate even for a second. It’s good that I waited until I got to this point. »

Anyway, as he repeats a few times during our interview, “you can never arrive too ready at the top.”